In this report our team will tackle Fielding.  Our analysis will be both objective based on the hard numbers of each team’s defensive ratings by position but also subjective as we had to make projections on likely lineups. Also our team values some factors greater than others from a fielding perspective and these positions often effected our overall team ratings. On the positive side: 9 SS, +3 and above Catcher arms and +33 and above outfielder arms. On the negative: Pct of starts/innings for pitchers graded 1, 3B 3’s, and 1B 2-3. One interesting note is that in this services opinion, there are no poor fielding teams. Due to our all-star level teams, while some teams have a position or two which will cause frustration, there is no team which should be fielding 3 and putting a bad fielding team in play. In fact with the exception of 3 outliers, the majority of teams are very close in their team fielding ratings.
Best of the Best:
1) Speakers: Once again the Speakers earn a high rating in a category. 5 ratings at 1st and 3rd, 10 at SS, 1-2 starting OF3’s, and a C9 with +3 arm will compliment the Speakers highly ranked rotation and make runs challenging for their opponents. The only real watch out may be the OF2’s and number of innings and starts by P1’s.
Above Average:
2) The Plague: We give the nod to The Plague but the next 7 teams are very closely ranked.  5 ratings at 1st and 3rd, SS9, 3 OF3’s, and mostly P2’s put them up there right below the Speakers. The only concerns are the C7 -3 throwing catcher which will start most of their games and a predominance of P1 relief innings.
3) Lyme Bees:  5 ratings at 1st and 3rd, SS9, 3 OF3’s, OF +arms and mostly RP2’s for the good.. The only concerns are: 2B7,  P1 relief innings and C7 or C8 -2 arm games.
4) Eliminators: 3B5, 2B9, 3 OF3’s and mostly SP2’s for the good. The only concerns are: SS8, P1 starting games and no positive C arms.
5) AB’s: 1B5, SS9, 2-3 OF3’s, and OF +arms for the good. Concerns are: Likely 3B3 and some SS8 starts, C7 -2 games, and significant P1 starts and relief innings.
6) Lemonheads: 1B5, 3B5, SS9, and P2 for most starts and relief are the positives. Likely significant 2B7 and OF2 starts, C7 starts, and no strong C throwing arm are the concerns.
7) Wahoo’s: SS9, 3B5, C8 with good arm, and P2 starters are the strengths. Likely 1B3 starts, OF arms and significant P1 relief innings are only concerns.
8) Asian Tsunamis: 2B9, P2 majority of starts and relief innings and C option with +3 arm are the strengths. The concerns are SS8, OF2’s and likely C negative throwing arm starts.
9) Shartlesville. Browns: 3B5, and C9 are strengths. Challenges will include: 1B2 and SS7 starts, P1 starts/relief innings, OF2’s, and no strong catching arm.
10) Shooting Stars II: Solid but not great ratings at all positions are the strengths. Concerns are: C7 or C8 -3 games, SS8, P1 starts and relief innings, OF2 or OF1 games and limited + throwing C games.
So we are now half way through our 10-part pre-season series. At this point an aggregate analysis has 9 teams very close to each other in the battle for the 2nd and 3rd place rankings. In the OOTL it is critical to earn a top 3 seed to get a bye in the Playoffs first round. One team, the Speakers, is clearly ahead of the others in the rankings at this point. However, Bullpens and Hitting are two major categories which remain. Can the Speakers do well enough in those areas to hold on to a top three spot? That question will be answered in future edition. Next up is Hitting!!!

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